ISILON basic commands

Here in this post, we are discussing a few basic isilon commands. Some of which comes to our help in our daily administration tasks for managing and monitoring the isilon array. You may refer the Celerra/VNX health check steps also we discussed in one of our previous posts.

Here are some of the isilon commands.

isi status : Displays the status of the cluster,nodes and events etc… You can use various options including -r (for displaying raw size), -D (for detailed info) -n (info for specific node -n <node id>)

isi_for_array : For running various commands against specific nodes. -n for a specific node and

isi events : There are many options with the ‘events’ command including isi events list (to list all the events) isi events cancel (to cancel the events) isi events quiet (to quiet the events). You can setup event notifications also using the isi events command.

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isi devices : To view and change the cluster devices status. There are plenty of options with the devices command.

isi devices –device <Device>  : where Device can be a drive or an entire node. –action option is used to perform any specific option on the devices (–action <action>) including smartfail, stopfail, status, add, format etc…

isi firmware status : is used to list the isilon firmware type and versions.

isi nfs exports : NFS exports command is used for various isilon NFS operations including export creation, listing/viewing modifying etc… Below are a list of sub-commands.

1. isi nfs exports create –zone <zone name> –root-clients=host1, host2 –read-write-clients=host2, host3 –path=<path>

2. isi nfs exports view <export ID> –zone=<zone name>

3. isi nfs exports modify <export ID> –zone=<zone name> –add-read-write-clients host4

isi smb share : This command is used to create, list/view, modify etc… operations on SMB shares. Sample sub-commands –

1. isi smb shares create <share name> –path=/ifs/data/SMBpath –create-path –browsable=true –zone <zone name> –description=”Test share”

2. isi smb shares delete <share name> –zone=<zone name>

isi quota quotas : this command is used for various quota operations including creation/deletion/modification etc…

Hope this post helped you. Please feel free to comment if you have any questions. We will discuss more detailed commands in a later post.


Simple LUN allocation steps – VNX

In one of our post earlier, we have seen the allocation steps in VMAX. Now let’s see the case with the mid-range product, EMC VNX. LUN allocation in VNX is quite simple with the Unisphere Manager GUI. Lets see the steps here.

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Creating a LUN : You need to have the information like the Size of the LUN required, the disk type and RAID type (if there are any specific requirement) etc… Based on these requirements, you have to decide the pool to go with. Based on the disk type and RAID type used in different pools, you will have to select the correct pool. From Unisphere, under Storage>LUNs you have to click the Create button.

You have to furnish the data including the Size, Pool (Video below from EMC on Pool creation) etc…in the screen. You will have to select the checkbox depending on whether the LUN need to be created as a Thin/Thick. Once all the fields are filled in, you have to note the LUN-ID and you can submit the form. Done..! You have created the LUN, you can find the new LUN from the list and verify the details..

Adding a new host : Yes, your requirement may be to allocate new LUN to a new host. Once host is connected via fabric and you have done with the zoning, the host connectivity should be visible in Initiators list (Unisphere> Hosts> Initiators). If you have the Unisphere Host Agent installed on the host or if it is an ESXi host, the host gets auto-registered and you will see the host details in the Initiators list.

Else you will see only the new host WWNs in the list. You have to select the WWNs and do a register. You have to fill in the host details (Name and IP) and the ArrayCommpath and failover mode settings. Once the host is registered, you will see the host in the hosts list (Unisphere > Hosts > Hosts).


Storage Group : You now have to make the LUN visible to the hosts. Storage Group is the way to do this in VNX/Clariion. You will have to create a new storage group for the hosts (Unisphere > Hosts > Storage Groups). You can name the new storage group to match the host/cluster name for easy identification and then add the hosts to the group.

If there are multiple hosts which will be sharing the LUNs, you have to add the hosts in the storage group. And you also have to add the LUNs to the Storage Group. You have to set the HLU for the LUNs in the SG and have to be careful in giving the HLU. For changing the HLU, you will have to take a downtime as it can not be modified on-the-fly.

Once the LUNs and hosts are added to the Storage Group, you are done with the allocation..! You can now request the host team to do a rescan to see the new LUNs.

Hope this post helped you. For more Celerra/VNX posts click here



EMC introduced VMAX3 series in the mid of 2014, which is an Enterprise Data Service Platform rather than a storage system. My eyes got stuck on a YouTube video from EMC which shows the 3D view of the components and features.

Read more

I wanted to share it with you, which resulted in this post. Here is it for you…


VMAX3 introduced 3 new models of VMAX – VMAX 100K, 200K and 400K – with the new HYPERMAX Operating System and Dynamic Virtual Matrix architecture. You may read more from the below links, from experts and EMC Elects..


New EMC VMAX³ – Industry’s First Enterprise Data Service Platform – Official Press Release

The VMAX3: Why Enterprise Class is Still Very Relevant – By Jason Nash

EMC Announces Next-Generation VMAX Storage Array – By Dave Henry

Symmetrix offers a new kind of MAXimum Virtualisation (VMAX) -By Rob Koper

VMAX 3 – The all-new Enterprise Data Service Platform..! Part-I – By Vipin V.K


EMC announces its next Generation VMAX Array – By Mark May

EMC Announces VMAX Family Re-architected for Enterprise Data Services and Hybrid Clouds -By

Just a few posts which I found interesting. You may suggest the links to more value added posts on VMAX3 in the comments section. We will try to add the link here for other’s reference.

You may find more EMC VMAX posts here. Thank You.


Creating and deleting a hard link in Linux

In one of our recent post (click here to read) we discussed about soft links . Now in this post we will discuss how to create and delete a hard link in Linux.

Hard links are also shortcuts used in Linux, but it is bit different from Soft Links. In case of a hard link, no new Inode will be created. If you are creating a hardlink to a fie with inode number 123456, hard link will use the same Inode. In case of soft links, a new Inode will be created for the link. Data can still be accessed via link even if the original file is deleted or moved to a different location. Read more

Here Let us see the commands and some examples of them.

Syntax :

ln sourcefile linkfile    #ln command is used for hard link creation with this syntax.

Examples :

[[email protected] test]# cat >> testfile  #Created a file named testfile for use in next steps
this is a test file

[[email protected] test]# ls -li

30760 -rw-rw-r– 1 admin admin 20 Jan 3 11:39 testfile #Listing with inode number (30760)

[[email protected] test]#ln testfile testlink #Created a link named testlink

[[email protected] test]# ls -li

30760 -rw-rw-r– 1 admin admin 20 Jan 3 11:39 testfile #Both files with same inode number

30760 -rw-rw-r– 1 admin admin 20 Jan 3 11:39 testlink

[[email protected] test]#more testlink #Source being accessed via link.
this is a test file


[[email protected] test]#rm -rf testfile #Deleting the source file

[[email protected] test]#more testlink #Actual content via link even after source deletion.
this is a test file

[[email protected] test]#

Now let us see the link removal. unlink command can be used to remove a link.

Syntax :

unlink linkname


[[email protected] test]#unlink testlink

[[email protected] test]#

Thus we have tried creating and deleting a hard link in Linux. Hope this was helpful for you.

For more posts on Linux please click here. We are happy to have your suggestions/queries in the comments section below.


Creating and removing a Symbolic link (soft link) in Linux

Symbolic links or soft links are like shortcuts in Windows systems. We use these to point/redirect to another file/directory. Links are a mandatory in some cases where we need a shortcut to actual data, in our day-to-day tasks. With soft links, we can even point to a directory – which is not possible with hard links. Hard links are discussed in another post, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Let us see how can we create a soft link, how to use it and how can we remove/delete the link below. Read more

Symbolic link can be created by running the ln -s command. Let us see the syntax and example for creating a link.

Syntax :

ln -s target source(linkname)

Example :

[[email protected] test]#ln -s /home/beginnersforum/linux testlink   #A link to linux directory will be created with name testlink

[[email protected] test]#ls -l

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   26 Jan  1 2015  testlink -> /home/beginnersforum/linux

[[email protected] test]

Here in the above example, we have created a link named testlink to the directory /home/beginnersforum/linux. Now accessing the testlink will redirect us to the linux directory as required.


Now we will see how we can remove the link,.  The command will be unlink for removing the link. Below are the syntax and example for the command.

Syntax :

unlink linkname

Example :

[[email protected] test]#ls -l

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   26 Jan  1 2015  testlink -> /home/beginnersforum/linux

[[email protected] test]#unlink testlink                    #Removing the link named testlink

[[email protected] test]#ls -l

[[email protected] test]#

Thus in the above unlink command example, we have removed the link named testlink which was created in our previous example.

For more options with these commands, you may refer to the man pages (man ln, man unlink).

That’s it..! We are done with creation and deletion of soft links. Hope this helped you.

For more posts on Linux please click here. We are happy to have your suggestions/queries in the comments section below.


Happy New Year 2015…!!!

It was a perfect year – 2014 – for us, where we started this great initiative.We will be keeping this momentum going in the coming years, with more value added posts and more…

Tomorrow is always a hope for doing something better.

We from Beginner’s Forum, wish you all our readers a Happy New Year 2015..!!!


New Year 2015

Brocade SAN switch zoning via CLI

We had discussed zoning in Cisco switch recently, in one of our posts. Now we will discuss the same on a Brocade switch via CLI. As we already discussed, the 3 components (zones, aliases and zoneset) remains the core here also. For reading bit more on this, you may read the previous post.

Now let’s directly come in to the commands for various steps.

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We have the new HBA connected to the switch, we can ensure the successful connectivity by running switchshow command. This will show all the ports and the connected device WWNs, you can check the port number if you are aware of, or by finding the WWN (you may do a grep for the WWN).

Else if you are not aware of the switch and port on fabric on which the HBA is attached to, you may run nodefind. nodefind 10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:01  will list the port details.



Now we can create the alias for the HBA (BForum_HBA1) and the storage port (VNX_SPA3). Below are the commands,

alicreate “BForum_HBA1″,”10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:01”
alicreate “VXN_SPA3″,”50:06:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:02”

For adding a WWN to an existing alias (adding a WWN – 10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:02 to the alias BForum_HBA2 for example) you may run,

aliadd “BForum_HBA2″,”10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:02”

Now we will be creating the zone for the HBA and storage port,

zonecreate “BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3″,”BForum_HBA1;VNX_SPA3”

We can add an alias to an existing zone by running the zoneadd command in similar way as we used aliadd command.

We can create zone config with the below command. This will add the zone to the cfg too..

cfgcreate “BForum_SAN1_CFG”,”BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3″



we should use the cfgadd command to add a new zone to an existing cfg as shown below,

cfgadd “BForum_SAN1_CFG”,”BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPB2

Thus we have the zones created and added to the (existing/new) config. Now we should save the config to memory to ensure this will be loaded in the next reboot of the switch also. The cfgsave command will do it for us.

We can now enable the zone config to make it in effect.

cfgenable BForum_SAN1_CFG

Yes we are all set. The server and storage now should be able to communicate. Some other useful commands are,

cfgshow BForum_SAN1_CFG           #Shows the config BForum_SAN1_CFG in detail

cfgdisable BForum_SAN1_CFG           #Disables the config BForum_SAN1_CFG

cfgremove “BForum_SAN1_CFG”,”BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPB2”           #Removes the zone BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPB2 from config BForum_SAN1_CFG

cfgactvshow            #Shows the current active config

alishow BForum_HBA1    #Shows the alias BForum_HBA1

zoneshow BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3   #Shows the zone BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3 details

More in coming posts. You may click here for SAN switch related posts. Thanks for reading..


Cisco MDS SAN switch Zoning via CLI

Here let’s discuss the steps to complete the zoning of a new server in Cisco MDS FC switch. In our previous post we had discussed the initialization procedure for a new MDS switch – may be helpful for you. The process of zoning will have 3 components, namely aliases, zones and zoneset (or zone configuration).

If you have a Brocade switch, you may refer to this post which explains zoning in a Brocade switch via CLI.

An alias is a name assigned to the WWN numbers which makes it easy to use/remember. WWN numbers Read more

– identity for a device, will have numbers separated by colon (:), for e.g, 10:ab:cd:ef:12:34:56:78 – are harder to be remembered.

A zone will be containing multiple objects which defines a communication path. In a zoning enabled switch, any two WWNs or port which are not having a common zone (which are not part of a single zone together) will not be able to communicate each other. We will create a Zone and will add the objects (WWNs, aliases or ports) to it.

A zoneset or a zone configuration is a collection of a set of zones in a switch/fabric. It makes easy to manage the zones. We will define an active configuration in switch/fabric and will add the zones, which need to be active, to this configuration.
Now let’s discuss the commands.



First we will create an alias for the new server HBA and the storage port to which it need to communicate.

#conifg -t

BForum_SAN01(config)# fcalias name BForum_HBA1 vsan 20        # This will create an alias with name BForum_HBA1

BForum_SAN01(config-alias)# member pwwn 10:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:01    # Adds the WWN to this alias


BForum_SAN01(config)# fcalias name VNX_SPA3 vsan 20

BForum_SAN01(config-alias)# member pwwn 50:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:01


Now we have the aliases ready. We can now create a zone for these two objects and add them. We will create a zone named ‘BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3’ which will be containing the host HBA (BForum_HBA1) and the storage port (VNX_SPA3).

BForum_SAN01(config)# zone name BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3 vsan 20

BForum_SAN01(config-zone)# member fcalias BForum_HBA1

BForum_SAN01(config-zone)# member fcalias VNX_SPA3

BForum_SAN01(config-zone)# exit

Zone too is ready now. Assuming we don’t have an existing configuration, we will be creating a zone config here. If you are already having a zoneset, you can use the zoneset name here in the below command.



BForum_SAN01(config)#zoneset name BForum_SAN01_Config VSAN 20

BForum_SAN01(config-zoneset)# member BForum_HBA1_VNX_SPA3

BForum_SAN01(config-zoneset)# exit

Now we have the zoneset created and zones added to it. We are good to activate the new zoneset.

BForum_SAN01(config)# zoneset activate name BForum_SAN01_Config VSAN 20

To verify the active zoneset, you may run the command show active zoneset

In case if you have to deactivate the zoneset, you may run the command,

BForum_SAN01(config)# no zoneset activate name BForum_SAN01_Config VSAN 20

We can save the running config to start-up config by running copy run start command. Now we have the zoning completed for one of the HBA of the new server. We will have to do the zoning for both the HBAs and should use multiple storage ports for redundancy.

You may click here for SAN switch related posts.

Hope this post was helpful for you. More, in coming posts, your thoughts in comments below… 🙂

Simple VMAX device allocation steps

Here we will discuss the basics of VMAX, a new device allocation to a new host. For a new host, we will have to create a Masking View (we will use MV or View later in this post), which will be containing Storage Group ( SG – Containing all the devices to be presented to the host ), Port Group ( PG -Containing the VMAX director ports through which the host will access the devices ) and Initiator Group ( IG – containing the host HBA WWNs ). Lets look more in to the configuration via symcli.

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Let’s assume we are using Thin Devices with a pool named T_Pool_1 already present in our VMAX.We will create 2 TDEVs devices first. The command will be,

symconfigure -sid 1234 -cmd ” create dev count=2, size=54614, emulation=FBA, config=TDEV;” commit -v

The new devices AAAA and AAAB  of 50GB are now created. Now we will bind these to the pool T_Pool_1. The commad we will use,

symconfigure -sid 1234 -cmd “bind tdev AAAA:AAAB to pool T_Pool_1;” commit -nop -v



Now we are all set to allocate these devices to the server. But it requires the View created. We are assuming the zoning is done and the HBAs are having good connectivity with the VMAX. We can verify this by running the command,

symaccess -sid 1234 list logins -wwn 1xxxxxxxxxxx  # where 1xxxxxxxxxxx is the HBA WWN

If the HBA is logged in, we are good.Now we will create the IG first.

symaccess -sid 1234 -type init create -name BForum_IG -f WWN_file

Where the WWN_file should have the WWNs mentioned in the form,



If we need to a WWN later we can do it by running,

symaccess -sid 1234 -name BForum_IG -type init -wwn 3xxxxxxxxxxx add

Now we have the IG created. The initiators in IG will be listed with their WWN only. If we need to rename to make it human-readable, we can use the command –

symaccess -sid 1234 -wwn 1xxxxxxxxxxx  rename -alias BForum_HBA1/1xxxxxxxxxxx 

The next step, we will create the PG.

symaccess -sid 1234 create -name BForum_PG -type port -dirport 7f:0,9f:0



Now we have the PG created with the FA port 7F:0 and 9F:0 added to it. Now we are left with the SG. We will create it with the devices AAAA and AAAB added to it,.

symaccess -sid 1234 create -name BForum_SG -type storage -devs AAAA:AAAB 

Yes, we have all the groups created. Now we will create the View,

symaccess -sid 1234 create view -name BForum_MV -ig BForum_IG -pg BForum_PG -sg BForum_SG

That’s it..! The view is set with the host and devices added to it.Now the server will be able to discover the devices.

Backup is of top priority for your production data and VMs. We recommend Nakivo for your VMware, Hyper-V and EC2 instances backups.

That was easy, right ? Hope you enjoyed it.You may find more EMC VMAX posts here.


Initializing a Cisco MDS FC switch

Trouble in initializing brand new Cisco MDS FC switch ? This post may help you. This post here discusses the procedure to initialize a new FC switch.


You have to connect the Console cable with Read more

the serial (COM) port on your laptop/desktop. You may use any terminal emulation utility such as Putty, Hyper Terminal etc.. and should use the default settings for serial connection (9600 baud,8 data bits,1 stop bit,No parity). Now you are all set to receive get the serial console.


Now you can connect the power and switch the switch ON. Once the switch is powered ON and booted up, you will asked to set the password for administrator. You should be setting a strong password otherwise the entered one will be rejected.

Once this is done, you will be prompted whether or not to continue with entering the configuration data. You can proceed with yes once you have the necessary information.



Press Enter at anytime to skip a dialog. Use ctrl-c at anytime
to skip the remaining dialogs.

Would you like to enter the basic configuration dialog (yes/no): yes

Create another login account (yes/no) [n]:

Configure read-only SNMP community string (yes/no) [n]:

Configure read-write SNMP community string (yes/no) [n]:

Enter the switch name : B-Forum-SW01

Continue with Out-of-band (mgmt0) management configuration? (yes/no) [y]:

Mgmt0 IPv4 address : 12x.23x.234.123

Mgmt0 IPv4 netmask :

Configure the default gateway? (yes/no) [y]:

IPv4 address of the default gateway : 12x.23x.234.1

Configure advanced IP options? (yes/no) [n]:

Enable the ssh service? (yes/no) [y]:

===== Output shortened =====



The switch will be showing all the parameters going  to be set on the switch. If you need to edit any of them, you may enter yes for the query to edit. If you are OK with the values, you can go for the default , no.You can save the configuration by entering yes to the next query.

Would you like to edit the configuration? (yes/no) [n]: no

Use this configuration and save it? (yes/no) [y]: yes

The switch will reboot and the new configuration will take affect. Yes, we are done..

If you wish to reset these values later, you may try the command setup. You will be receiving the same questionnaire as you did for the first time initialization.

You may click here for SAN switch related posts.

Hope this post was helpful for you. Comments are always welcome…



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